Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Good News from Afar

Proverbs 25:25 says,
 “As cold water to a weary soul,
So is good news from a far country.”
A few nights ago, after a long emotional day, I went to the mailbox and discovered a small bulky envelope.
Then I noticed the post mark-”Ireland”
Inside was the most beautiful handmade card, a bookmark with an Irish blessing. a Claddagh pin, ( An irish symbol of love and loyalty) and a most welcome treat--a cadbury chocolate bar! ( Chocolate simply tastes way better in Ireland-I think they have better cows..;)
The gifts are treasures. The words inside that card that reached across the ocean, touched my heart so deeply as I read them. A tender yet strong encouragement to trust in God’s sufficient grace and a promise to continue to pray.
For over 10 years, Calvary Tucson youth leader Pete LaJoy has been leading missions trips to Ireland during the summer months. I had the privilege of going on 5 of these grand “adventures”!
I have only seen the lovely woman, I received the package face to face a handful of times.
But she is deeply in my heart. Along with her husband,daughter, son in law and a few other crazy Irish lads and lasses. ( you know who you are..:)
The bond we share in Christ is unbreakable. Time and distance cannot erase or take away from it.
I share this because there is something so unique and priceless that happens on missions trips.
God moves in ways that are hard to imagine unless you experience them. He knows the spiritually thirsty souls who are ready to drink of His Living Water and He is just waiting for you to deliver it!  Because of that, He goes before you, leading the way to whosoever would drink and you get to see His mighty hand at work, touching hearts and changing lives. 

Tomorrow, five Living Water carriers will depart from our desert, Tucson Calvary and head off to Keyna, Africa. 
They will seek to continue the work God has begun through Garments of Praise Foundation. Many of you know Ilowee Owens, founder of this effort who saw a great need to help the displaced people of this area. These men and women have a great desire to,  but no means of supporting themselves. Through a unyielding burden of love and prayers of faith, God has moved and to date, among other things, has provided a building and instructor for a tailoring school that provides training for women to gain life saving skills. This two-year program provides students with a certificate in tailoring recognized by the Kenyan government.
There are many needs in this corner of the world. Another focus on this trip will be the very spiritually dark area of Eastleigh, Nairobi, as this team partners with a pastor and his congregation there. They will seek to come alongside these saints and also hope to  begin a similar training facility nearby. Much prayer is needed in this severely oppressed and persecuted area.
I want to encourage you with two things:
  1. Ilowee is just a women who saw a great need and prayed for a solution. She had no plan. no agenda, no staff, no major connections and no money.  She just began to pray and knock on doors and make phone calls and God moved. 
  2. Not everyone can go on missions trips. But everyone can be involved and be a part of  the enormous blessings that come when you give His love through prayer, encouragement, support and gifts. It is truly as Jesus said, more blessed to give then to receive. For in giving, we receive so much more than we could ever imagined. Who can place a price on a soul saved, a life restored or a friendship formed over sharing a cup of Living Water together? 
Below is a link to their website for more info on their trip.
I’m going to take a minute and pray for the one who brought me that cup of water- the message that Jesus loved me, died for me and would forgive all my sins because HE bore them and their penalty in His sacrificial death on the cross. I will forever be grateful that she brought that good news to my weary soul.
Maybe you could pray for your gospel cup bearer too if you feel led. 
And let’s all pray for these fab five in Jesus, as they take hope and healing to the far off land of Kenya, Africa. May many hallelujahs result in heaven! 
Quoting Ilowee, “....your prayers are sooooo needed and do so much. Prayer is not just a word it is a very powerful tool!!”
“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you..” 
2 Thess. 3:1

Troy and Lisa Stokoe, Ilowee Owens and Sally and Eric Hein

*On a personal note, please pray for my endoscopy biopsy tomorrow and good news from that cell-ular country!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Praying for you all! The weaving together of God's work is such an awe-inspiring, humbling experience. We are all so privileged to be called by Him and for Him...who works all things together for our good, and is at work in us, both to will and to work His good pleasure! Keeping you before The Throne, Cathy T.

  3. Praying for you and your biopsy this morning! May you and your family be surrounded by His peace.

  4. Praying for you right now :o)
    In His love,
    Kelly Stevens

  5. Lisa-what a tremendously uplifting note! I am definitely praying for the team who's going to Africa....and all our Irish friends! Of course, daily prying for you, too :-)

  6. Prayed for you all morning awaiting God's "abundantly above all we ask and even think" answer for you and the mission team on their way to Africa!

    God bless all of you!
    Love, JoAnn

  7. The Word is Alive...I will keep them in my prayers.

  8. I prayed for you all through the day yesterday and even the middle of the night.